Definition of IDENTITY
1 a: sameness of essential or generic character in different instances b: sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness
2 a: the distinguishing character or personality of an individual : individuality b : the relation established by psychological identification
3: the condition of being the same with something described or asserted <establish the identity of stolen goods
The immediate family members of a sailor, soldier, airman, or marine have a military identity. Spouses and children carry ID cards that identify them as “sponsored by SGT Smith or COL Jones.” These cards spell out support privileges such as access to a military installation, housing and travel costs, medical care, and tax-free shopping opportunities. Military members are immediately identified by their uniforms. Their spouses and children do not wear a uniform, so their identity often goes unnoticed.
In World War II the percentage of married soldiers with spouses accompanying them was much smaller than it is today and by far the highest percentage of soldiers was male. Wives and children left behind tended to gravitate to their own extended families while their husbands went off to war. Blending with those families in home town communities masked the identity of military “dependents” much more so than today’s military family members, no longer officially referred to as dependents.